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internet explorer tipsTech websites write a lot about Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, so it’s easy to feel a bit left out if you use Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 9 is easily the best version of Internet Explorer ever released, and it includes some cool features. If you’re an Internet Explorer user, here’s a collection of browser tips just for you.

Some of IE’s features are best-in-class. For example, IE’s pinned sites integrate well with Windows 7’s taskbar, and pinned sites offer more features than application shortcuts in Chrome 7 Simple Steps To Use Gmail As A Desktop Email Client 7 Simple Steps To Use Gmail As A Desktop Email Client Read More . Web accelerators are also a useful way to view information from the current page, and they’re specific to IE.

Pin Websites To Your Taskbar

Pinned websites work in tandem with Windows 7’s taskbar The 4 Neat Tricks You Can Do With The Windows 7 Taskbar The 4 Neat Tricks You Can Do With The Windows 7 Taskbar The Windows 7 taskbar is quite swanky looking, but it also packs a wallop in terms of functionality. Sure, anyone can activate an application by clicking its icon. But do you know what happens when... Read More . To pin a website, drag and drop its icon from Internet Explorer’s address bar to the Windows taskbar. You can click the taskbar icon to instantly load the website in its own window.

Some websites contain special support for the pinning feature. For example, if you use Hotmail Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion] Is It Time To Let Hotmail Back Into Our Hearts? [Opinion] Hotmail has had some seriously bad rap over the years, and is now almost universally shunned by tech professionals and bloggers. The main complaint has always been that the service is spam riddled, but is... Read More , you’ll see a count of unread messages in your Hotmail inbox – right on your taskbar. You can also right-click the taskbar icon to view a jump list 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer Windows Explorer is the default Windows file manager. Last week I introduced you to 3 easy ways to improve Windows 7 Explorer by tweaking features and using it to its full potential. In this article,... Read More  of special options.

internet explorer tips

Trim Add-ons For Speed

Many applications install Internet Explorer add-ons. If you have quite a few add-ons, Internet Explorer will take longer to start. Internet Explorer identifies the add-ons that delay your browser and tell you how much they delay IE’s startup, so you can easily disable the worst offenders.

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To open the Manage Add-ons dialog, click the gear-shaped Tools icon on IE’s toolbar and select Manage add-ons.

internet explorer 9 tips and tricks

Enable Accelerators

Internet Explorer includes web accelerators for sending emails with Hotmail, mapping addresses with Bing 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Bing Maps Aerial View 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Bing Maps Aerial View Read More , and translating languages with Bing Translate. These accelerators may be disabled, depending on what you selected when you installed IE. You can enable them from the Accelerators pane in the Manage Add-ons window.

internet explorer 9 tips and tricks

To use an accelerator, select some text on a web page and right click (or click the accelerator icon that appears). You’ll be able to get instant results directly from the webpage – for example, you can see an address on a map or translate some text without loading an entire new page.

internet explorer 9 tips and tricks

To get more accelerators, click the Find More Accelerators link in the Manage Add-ons window or visit Microsoft’s IE add-ons gallery.

Lock Your Preferred Search Provider

Some Windows programs like changing your default search engine to their own, usually inferior, search engines. To stop applications from manipulating your browser settings, you can lock your preferred search provider in place – other applications won’t be able to change it without your permission.

To make this change, open the Manage Add-ons window, select Search Providers in the sidebar, and enable the Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider option.

tips for ie9

Reopen Closed Tabs

Internet Explorer 7 brought browser tabs to Internet Explorer users, but it was missing a crucial feature – that ability to reopen closed tabs. Thankfully, this feature was introduced in IE 8. All you have to do is right-click IE’s tabs and select Reopen closed tab.  You can also select from a list of recently closed tabs using the Recently closed tabs submenu.

tips for ie9

Browse Privately With InPrivate Browsing

To enable private-browsing mode, click the gear icon, point to Safety, and select InPrivate Browsing. In InPrivate Browsing mode, Internet Explorer won’t save any history, cookies, or other temporary Internet files 4 Uses for Browsing in Privacy Mode (That Isn't Porn) 4 Uses for Browsing in Privacy Mode (That Isn't Porn) Read More . You can browse privately, knowing that other people that open IE later won’t be able to see what websites you were viewing. It’s ideal when you want to surprise someone with a gift and in many other situations 4 Uses for Browsing in Privacy Mode (That Isn't Porn) 4 Uses for Browsing in Privacy Mode (That Isn't Porn) Read More .

tips for ie9

Get Website Suggestions

Internet Explorer can suggest websites you may be interested in based on websites you visit. It does this by sending a list of websites you visit to Microsoft’s servers – so make sure you’re okay with that before enabling this feature.

To enable this feature, click the gear icon, point to the File menu, and select Suggested Sites. You’ll also have to enable your favorites bar – right-click IE’s toolbar and select Favorites bar to enable it. Click the Suggested Sites option on your favorites bar to view similar websites.

If you don’t see the Suggested Sites option on your favorites bar, you can add it from here.

internet explorer tips

You can also tweak a lot of Internet Explorer settings from the Internet Options dialog How To Manage & Secure Your Internet with Windows' Internet Options How To Manage & Secure Your Internet with Windows' Internet Options Many computers are owned by a single person, but many others are public or used by a family. It’d be nice to think everyone with access to a computer would follow the rules set up... Read More , which also contains parental controls that let you block access to specific categories of websites.

For more Internet Explorer tips, check out our printable Internet Explorer Shortcuts cheat sheet.

What Internet Explorer feature do you make use of the most? Leave a comment and share any tips you have!

  1. Ed
    November 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    How can I stop Bing from changing my home page to BING?

    • Tina
      November 23, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      What browser are you using and do you have Bing search bar or anything?

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      In Internet Explorer 9:

      Click the gear icon at the top right corner of the window and select Manage add-ons.
      Click Search Providers in the window that appears.
      Select the search engine you want to use in the list (eg. Google).
      Click Make Default to make the search engine your default.
      Check the "Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider" checkbox at the bottom of the window.

      If you don't see the search engine you want to use in the list, click Find more search providers at the bottom of the window.

  2. Gerry McMunn
    November 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I reecently received an Adobe Reader update and did not unselect the option to install Chrome and Google Toolbar. After the update, I uninstalled Chrome and Google Toolbar via the Control Panel [Programs and Features]. Since then I cannot jump from other applications to IE by clicking on embedded URLs [for example, URL embedded in an Outlook email, or embedded in a Word document]. I get a pop-up stating: "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.".
    I am using IE9 with Win7 64-bit. IE9 is my default browser. I'm sure this problem has something to do with the Chrome installation/deinstallation.
    Do you have any suggestions regarding what option/parameter I need to reset?
    Thanks,

  3. Reý Aetar
    August 14, 2012 at 3:49 am

    it feels great in using it just a proper ad blocker adon and a extension like download helper will do the rest

  4. Peter
    July 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    HATE Internet Explorer 9

    I have been trying now for two days to rollback to ie8. Ie9 is supposed to show as an UPDATE, View Installed Updates is what I have been reading. That said, on my computer, Vista 32-bit, internet explorer 9 is NO where to be found! NOT happy with the new lay out. I have tried a restore, nada!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

      If you select View Installed Updates and look under the Microsoft Windows category, you should see "Windows Internet Explorer 9," which you can uninstall. You can also use the search box in the window to search for "Internet Explorer 9" and uninstall it (at least on Windows 7).

      You can also try Firefox, Chrome, or another browser.

  5. Elaheh Sadegh
    July 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    once I install IE9 on my windows 7 I almost lost my IE! nothing work and IE keep shutting down ... I didn't try it anymore and start chrome instead. But my coworkers use it and are satisfy.
    choosing between browser is kinda difficult but since most people use windows they get to use IE , beside that I saw a lot of app that are compatible with IE only.so useing IE is a must and this kind of tips are really useful.

  6. Fakhruddin Ahmad
    July 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    IE? Really?
    who still use this cr*p these days?

    • Saikat Basu
      July 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

      A few people still do simply because it is available by default.

      • Fakhruddin Ahmad
        July 17, 2012 at 12:01 am

        Yeah, that's right..
        so the very first useful tip and trick for IE users should be:
        "go to firefox or chrome or opera website, download the browser and install it."
        and second:
        "leave IE for eternity. Hurray!!"

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 17, 2012 at 12:59 am

      20-30% of Internet users (or more!) depending on the browser statistics you see.

  7. venkatp16
    June 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Nooooo... IE 9 really sucks, most of my browser extensions are not loading properly and sometimes IE crashes and says page expired. But same working fine in firefox & chrome... even it looks opera is far more better than IE now a days.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Yeah -- to be honest, IE has come a long ways but it's still at the back of the pack in my book.

  8. Faiz Israili
    June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hmmm, Thanks for sharing...

  9. shaurya boogie
    June 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    i dont like ie 9. no good html 5 support.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      Yeah, hopefully IE 10 will be better -- I have a gut feeling that the support still may not be good enough, though.

  10. Kim Paula Guess
    June 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I seldom use IE but I it is installed in my pc. This will be bookmarked for future reference.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      Awesome, glad we could be a resource! I wasn't even aware IE had some of these features before writing this post.

  11. Angeline Factor
    June 20, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I never liked IE, slow start up and bloated! But still there are some people who keep using IE that makes us web developers life hard! Firefox or Chrome FTW!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Sadly, IE 9 looks modern for the average user but isn't quite there for web developers yet.

  12. Ben
    June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    The pinning a web page to the taskbar feature is fantastic.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      I agree. Other browsers need to copy that, post-haste -- I know Chrome has it, but make it easier! Average users don't know about it.

  13. Fayz
    June 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    IE9 brought me back to it from Chrome by the the 'Pin Websites to your Taskbar' feature. That is a real winner for me. Also, in the last few days, IE9 has mysteriously been loading pages faster than Chrome. Weird!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 19, 2012 at 12:07 am

      That is a very slick feature. Chrome has the same feature (wrench menu->Tools->Create Application Shortcuts), but it's a few more steps and not as discoverable.

  14. Tom Sobieski
    June 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Some people actually use IE ? Seriously ?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 19, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Yup. If you add all the IE versions up, it's either ahead of or roughly equal to Chrome, depending on who you ask. Poor web developers.

  15. Joshua Wood
    June 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Cool!

  16. Prakash Senapati
    June 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    not used ie since
    use google chrome for first time
    time to give it a try

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:52 am

      What did you think of IE?

      I'm still a Google Chrome user myself, but even I have to admit that IE is better than it used to be.

      • Prakash Senapati
        June 17, 2012 at 7:03 am

        IE learned a lot from its failures
        but still at many web sites chrome is much better & responsive
        IE still lacks many html5 features
        might get it done in IE10 in windows 8
        to me
        IE has done something to remove the tag of
        "the best browser to download other browser"

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

          Yeah, the lacking HTML features are a big problem. Probably the biggest one with IE.

      • Tom Sobieski
        June 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

        "Better than it used to be" doesn't say much.
        Alternate between FF, Chrome, and Chromium depending what machine I'm on, and what I want to do. FF extensions are great, but FF is getting a little bloated

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 19, 2012 at 12:05 am

          I agree, but IE still has users. Actually, I've been fighting with IE's non-standard rendering this afternoon. So I know it's still not good enough.

  17. Hasitha Chaturanga
    June 15, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Chrome beets this

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Agreed, I personally use Chrome.

  18. Dany Bouffard
    June 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    The best tip was left out, use anything but Internet Explorer. Use Internet explorer only for websites that dont work correctly with another browser.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:30 am

      That's not very many websites these days, thankfully!

      Some people are restricted to IE only at work, so this could still help some Chrome/Firefox fans.

  19. oneworld
    June 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

    thanks for this amazing list.....

  20. Ashwin Divakaran
    June 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    IE is Seriously gaining some momentum to catch up with Chrome and Firefox.I Have used Chrome and Firefox for many years and found them to be extraordinary.We will see how the upcoming IE10 shines in Windows 8

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:29 am

      IE may not be quite there yet -- it's missing a lot of HTML5 features, although some seem to be coming in IE 10 -- but it's not an embarrassment to Microsoft anymore. IE 6 was an embarrassment.

  21. nikata
    June 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Maybe it's the way I use IE. I don't know why and how. My IE always has many problems. It cannot bring out my online bank client every time I try to pay.However I use the IE engine in Avant browser to do that. Avant use IE's engine directly. I don't understand...
    And there are so many script errors when I surf the internet.I cannot post comments. All the other browsers I used have no problem.
    These things makes me think IE is terrible.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Sounds like you've got some problems there, tough to say why -- try upgrading to a newer version, maybe? Or uninstall junky add-ons and toolbars.

  22. Aayush
    June 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Give the most useful trick " uninstall IE completely :

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

      Sadly, you can't. The uninstall option in Windows just hides it.

  23. Shehan Nirmal
    June 14, 2012 at 4:24 am

    IE is the best browser for Windows users...

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

      Why do you say that?

      • Prashant Mohta
        June 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

        because you can download chrome & ff with it ???

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

          Swoosh!

  24. Paul Li
    June 14, 2012 at 3:23 am

    "Trim add-ons for speed." Cool, now I'll be able to download Chrome even faster!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

      Well, that way, whenever you accidentally launch IE, it won't take as long to close it.

  25. Jacobo
    June 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    The absolute best trick for iE users is download Firefox or Chromium

    • Josh Vogler
      June 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

      I was thinking the same thing. I thought for sure this article was going to be a list of browsers to download with IE to replace it.

      • Terafall
        June 14, 2012 at 1:36 am

        or download opera

    • Nick Bruce
      June 14, 2012 at 2:24 am

      While I have never been a huge IE fan, IE 9 is actually a pretty good browser. Certainly leaps and bounds better than IE 6, 7 & even 8. It still has its quirks, but honestly, I don't mind using it when I have to.

      • Chris Hoffman
        June 15, 2012 at 7:26 am

        IE 9 is definitely no IE 6, at least.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Haha, I might personally agree, but I certainly don't want to troll my readers!

      • Prashant Mohta
        June 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

        good point ? though IE still is the only browser you get out-of-the-box on windows machines

  26. Deviant
    June 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I haven't used IE in at least three years. Firefox has been my main browser, with Chrome gaining more browsing time each day. The new voice search within Chrome is the best!....

    • Mihovil Pletikos
      June 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      yeah, a few years ago i couldn't even imagine using ie, but now... i use chrome only sometimes, and ff i left long time ago.... and with all google's tracking and chrome getting strange with a number of pages... (try to open per example goal.com i chrome...) as i said i am returning slowly to ie....

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:25 am

      I don't use IE either, but I know many people do -- in fact, an "average user" I know who still uses IE recently remarked to me that he discovered InPrivate Browsing. That inspired this post -- there are still lots of IE users and we don't write for them very much.

      • Prashant Mohta
        June 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

        They only use IE (majorly) because it is shipped with OS
        to think most Pcs with Xp still use IE 6(not sure on the version but they rarely update the browser) at-least that's what it's like here in india

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

          Very true. It's sad that IE 6 is still in such wide use -- poor web developers. And users.

        • Prashant Mohta
          June 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

          they must block ie 6-9(sexual pun unintended) over the web

  27. Mihovil Pletikos
    June 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    i was using chrome for really long time, but lately i started notice more and more webpages that are not correctly displayed in chrome.... per example http://espnfc.com/us/en and it is strange because i wasn't having much porblems previously, and i was using crome from first beta that was available....
    and i am slowly returning back to ie... and i like ie specially ie10 in w8....

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Looks okay in Chrome to me! The web's come a long way from when it was IE only. I hear IE 10 is improved again.

      • Mihovil Pletikos
        June 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        on two computers at home and on a computer at work i cant open that page....

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

          That's really bizarre. Could be a region-blocking issue.. But then IE wouldn't work. I'm stumped.

    • Prashant Mohta
      June 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

      it's an issue in chrome installation , i had the same with most sites using html5 just re-installed it and the issue is gone now. may work for you too

      • Chris Hoffman
        June 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

        That's a bizarre bug -- worth a try, though.

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